‘The light bulb conspiracy’ should be watched by industrial designers and society alike. It informs all viewers of relevant issues that need to be addressed in today’s society. The central theme of the film is to express how and why the development of planned obsolescence was created. The use of the light bulb throughout the film expresses this planned obsolescence and how it was used by manufactures to gain profit and increase consumer use to drive an economy. From planned obsolescence the American and most of the western world’s civilization and way of life was created without it today’s western world would have been very different.
The idea of planned obsolescence in products, in theory, seems to work well. Planned obsolescence is when products have a planned life cycle and fail or break after a certain time. At first products were made to last for a certain number of years, such as fridges which were made to last up to 25 years. Within society planned obsolescence would seem to work well old products can be used by the poorer community while the rich go out and purchase the newer items, but since the development of the idea it has been utilised to make profit for companies. Now day companies make products that last up to or are out dated within 6 months. This means more purchase of products in short periods of time increasing profit rapidly and disposal of the consumer’s old products.
This excess of products means that there is an increased amount of waste that needs to be discarded. Most of the product waste from today’s society is e-waste which can’t be recycled or decompose. Because of planned obsolescence this e-waste continues to grow and will not stop in the future. Because of these factors planned obsolescence needs to be combated in the near future to reduce this waste. As industrial designer we need to be the ones influencing this change in society. We as designer need to consider the life cycle of products, we can still live in a consumer driven society but certain actions must be taken to prevent waste build up and resource depletion. To do this designers need to create more sustainable products with an end of life use that is not harmful to the environment, design products to be modular and can be upgraded this will allow the consumer to have the one product and remove and add components to improve their product. With these actions we can reduce the waste dumped on our planted and not deplete our resources making the world a better place to live for everyone.